Rocky Bleier Road Doughnuts

Monday is Veterans Day, making this Salute to Service week in the NFL. It seemed fitting to create a recipe for Steelers' running back, Rocky Bleier - four-time Super Bowl champion, Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient. More on that in a bit.
$Bill made his second trip of the season out to the 'Burgh this weekend. I was intending to join him, but sadly had a work commitment. Steeler fans, what's worse: having your team lose miserably and watching the whole debacle or missing the game when they win? I'm thinking it's better that they win, but I was going bonkers at work today knowing that a game was unfolding and I was missing the whole thing. Here are $Bill and Josh's pictures from this afternoon (captions in quotes by $Bill):

Wing sauce fumble, lower left.

"McDonald's on the North Side" (typical post-tailgate, pregame pit stop...)

"I am in the right place!" 

"Da Burgh w/ Fort Pitt Bridge"


Well, as you can tell, my work commitment prevented me from watching the week 10 matchup against the Buffalo Bills at 1:00pm as well. I did sneak away and check my phone frequently for scoring updates and am very, very glad that the Black and Gold defeated the Bills this week. However, my predicament reminded me of the times when I was a kid and $Bill, for whatever reason, was unable to watch the game on a Sunday afternoon. He'd set the VCR to record the game and we were forbidden from touching that or the TV until he got back, or we'd have a very angry dad. I wish I had a VCR to set today. 

Rocky Bleier was drafted by the Steelers in 1968, then drafted by the United States Army in December of that year and was deployed to Vietnam in May, 1969. Bleier was wounded in battle in August when his platoon was ambushed. He was hit with a bullet in his left leg and shrapnel from an enemy grenade in his right leg. He was honorably discharged and awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. After another few years of recuperating and training to rejoin the Steelers' roster, Bleier managed to jump from 180 to 212 pounds. By 1974, Bleier was a starting running back. He would play for the Black and Gold until he retired in 1980 and contributed to the franchise's first four Super Bowl victories. 

I knew I wanted to make something "rocky road" in Bleier's honor for Veterans Day. Rocky road candy would be easy enough and it doesn't feel like the right season for homemade rocky road ice cream. I'm a little cookied out at the moment after making a big batch of Jerricho ButtersCotchery Cookies the other day. I found an awesome recipe for Rocky Road Doughnuts and thought I'd give it a try. 

The recipe is extremely easy, but does require a doughnut baking tin. I found mine at Target, though you can likely pick one up at any craft or home goods store. Now I have an excuse and the means by which to bake up a batch of doughnuts whenever I want - score.

Rocky Bleier Road Doughnuts
Recipe adapted from Steph's Bite By Bite

For the doughnuts
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened and sliced
3/4 cup marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
1-2 tbsp milk

For the topping
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup pecan chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combined flour, cocoa powder, sugar and baking powder. Whisk in egg, buttermilk, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Spoon batter into doughnut tin until each mold is 3/4 full. Bake for 10-12 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then flip tin onto cooling rack and gently remove each doughnut. 

Add butter, marshmallow cream and vanilla to mixing bowl and beat with hand mixer on medium speed. Add confectioners sugar in three separate additions. Add milk in between additions until it reaches the desired consistency. Dunk doughnuts into frosting and spread evenly with a butter knife. 

Pour walnuts and pecans onto a dish and dunk frosted doughnuts onto topping. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to three days. 

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